Where to Stay Abroad: A Guide for Wanderlusts

Where To Stay AbroadGone are the days of relying on a travel agent to plan out your dream vacation. Thanks to the internet, trip-planning has become far less daunting of a task; in fact, planning a trip has never been easier. Looking to splurge on a five-star hotel? Or bunk with a bunch of strangers that could end up being your new friends by the end of the night? Or how about renting out an entire city-center apartment all to yourself?

The type of accommodation you choose could end up making a huge impact on your trip. Here’s the low down on choosing between a hotel, hostel or an Airbnb.

If I’m looking to treat myself, I’ll stay in a hotel, there is just something so glamorous about the whole experience. You’ve got the entire room to yourself and a staff ready to answer your questions and tend to your every need. Hotels are great if you are looking to stay in and simply relax.

With hotels, you could potentially never leave the property because everything you need is in one place, like the gym, restaurants, spa, and room service... it’s almost as if they don’t want you to find an excuse to leave! If you are in need of some relaxation and a little pampering, do yourself a favor and book the hotel.

Some of my favorite memories have taken place in hostels. Each one is so unique in its own way and you never know what kind of people you will end up meeting.

I love hostels because they give you the chance to put yourself out there, especially if you are travelling solo. Last year I took a trip by myself and was so worried that I would end up spending the whole trip alone, but that certainly was not the case.

Each day I met people who too were on their own and I ended up exploring so many different places that I had never even heard of or thought to check out. For example, on the last day of my trip I figured I would chill out and head to the beach, however, I overheard some girls in my hostel talking about going cliff jumping in the jungle. Next thing I knew we were hiking in the middle of nowhere and exchanging stories as if we had all known one another our whole lives.

It sounds corny, but hostels force you out of your comfort zone and can totally change the direction of your trip for the better. That being said, though, there are some downsides to bunking with eight strangers, like the likelihood of being stuck in a room with a person(s) who snores. I swear, I have never once been able to escape this scenario and that is why I am a firm believer in the power of ear plugs. Trust me, they are a travel essential.

I have an unhealthy obsession with Airbnb, I could spend hours on the website planning pretend trips scouring the site for the most unique types of accommodation.

This past summer I traveled to Ireland and was able to spend the night in a medieval castle, a tiny house overlooking the sea, and a 18th century horse stable turned turned farm house. Each place was so unique and an amazing experience. Being able to interact with the hosts and hear about their lives and what to do around the area is something you just don’t get when staying in a hostel or a hotel.

Also, Airbnb’s fit every type of budget and type of traveler, as you can choose rent a shared room, private room, or the entire place. Having done all three, I can attest to the fact that Airbnb can do no wrong. Another benefit of Airbnb is that often times the hosts provide guests with snacks or supplies to make breakfast. In Ireland I had access to fresh eggs and vegetables from the host’s farm as well as homemade jams made from seasonal fruit. Not only was I able to try out some local cuisine, but I also saved money by not having to buy breakfast, it was a win-win for sure.

Monmouth offers an amazing study abroad program where you can live in England, Italy, Australia, or Spain and can travel throughout countries. Budgeting and saving your money for the allotted time you are abroad is easy when you know the details on the varieties of places you can stay.

Now that you’ve got the low down on all three, what ae you waiting for? Pack up your bags, load up the car and treat yourself to a spontaneous trip over Fall Break, you deserve it!

PHOTO TAKEN by Brett O'Grady